The Hays County Commissioners voted Tuesday to cast 1,271 votes for Jenifer O’Kane to serve on the Central Appraisal District Board of Directors.
Commissioners appointed O’Kane Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector in March 2019 after long-time Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Caraway resigned.
During public comments, residents have expressed concerns about a potential conflict of interest in appointing the Tax Assessor-Collector to the board.
Legal Counsel, Mark Kennedy, said he believed the strategy for putting all the votes behind O’Kane was to make it clear who their choice was.
“You don’t want to spread your votes out and dilute your choice with multiple candidates,” Kennedy said.
Commissioner Mark Jones noted the Board of Directors governs the operation of the Hays Central Appraisal District; the budget is the largest directive.
Commissioner Lon Shell addressed residents’ concerns about a conflict of interest by clarifying.
“Our board member is in charge of making sure that the money that the county puts into the board is spent wisely as far as operations go,” Shell said. “They do not have anything to do with appraisal reviews or deciding on appraisals.”